Photo News Release | September 2, 2021
Wells Fargo and Apple Autos donated a 2021 Ford Escape SE Hybrid through Military Warriors Support Foundation
St. Paul, Minn. – September 1, 2021 – For combat-wounded veterans, transitioning from the military back to civilian life can be a challenge. That, combined with the cost of a new vehicle, can put added burdens on our nation’s military service members and their families. To help, Wells Fargo teamed up with Apple Autos and Military Warriors Support Foundation to present a payment-free 2021 Ford Escape SE Hybrid to former U.S. Army Sergeant Michael Diehn on Tuesday, August 31, during Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair.
“It is such an honor to receive this vehicle and be a part of this program because it will give our family so much more freedom to do different things and visit new places. Personally, I hope to be able to start my own farm with a garden and animals, participate in more veteran events, and volunteer to help my fellow veteran community. As a family, we’ll get to take more road trips to different U.S. destinations and learn how to budget and save money for the future,” shared former U.S. Army Sergeant Michael Diehn.
The donation was made through Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program, which awards payment-free vehicles and provides one year of family and financial mentorship to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families. According to the Foundation, the counseling has helped families in its program pay down, on average, about $30,000 in debt.
Michael Diehn was born and raised in Arlington, Minn. He joined the Army in 2001 and completed his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. Sergeant Diehn also attended Airborne School, and later was assigned to Company E, 51st Infantry Regiment, serving as Long Range Surveillance in Darmstadt, Germany. In 2003, while deployed to Iraq, he sustained injuries while supporting combat operations and received a Purple Heart. He was flown back to Germany to recover from his injuries. After six months of rehabilitation, he re-enlisted in the military and got deployed back to Iraq. After six years of service, he was honorably discharged in 2007 and received many awards for his bravery, including a Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Iraq Campaign Medal and more. Today, Sergeant Diehn resides in Plato, Minn. with his wife and three children and enjoys fishing, gardening, cutting wood and going on road trips.
Wells Fargo Auto, a division of Wells Fargo Consumer Lending, started the Sponsored Vehicle Donation Program in 2015, and since then have worked with auto dealerships across the country to sponsor the donation of more than 50 payment-free vehicles and family and financial mentoring, valued at over $1.5 million, to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families through Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is the leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
About Military Warriors Support Foundation
Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded by LTG Leroy Sisco (Ret), in 2007. Their mission is to provide programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition for our nation’s combat-wounded heroes and Gold Star families. Their programs focus on housing and homeownership, recreational activities, transportation assistance and leadership development. Through select programs, they have awarded nearly 900 mortgage-free homes and over 100 payment-free vehicles to combat-wounded heroes, Gold Star spouses, and their families in all 50 states. In addition to the home or vehicle, the families receive family and financial mentoring. For more information, visit MilitaryWarriors.org.
About Apple Autos
Apple Autos is a family-owned business that has served the south metro for more than two decades. Apple Autos operates Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley, Apple Ford Shakopee, Apple Chevrolet Buick in Northfield, and Apple Used Autos in Shakopee, Minnesota. The company pioneered “Best Price” selling 25 years ago, providing up-front pricing without the uncertainty and hassle of negotiations. Being a good citizen is one of Apple Autos’ key values. They give willingly to and are actively involved in the support of our communities.
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